They add a whole new dimension to your workout
By Jenny Cook
We all know that parenting is a full-time job and that even a few minutes’ worth of ‘me time’ can be nigh-on impossible to achieve when you’ve got children.
However, Keith McNiven – national wrestling champion and owner of Right Path Fitness – says that having kids doesn’t have to mean giving up on your fitness. Indeed, he suggests that exercising together could play an important role in strengthening the family bond.
“As long as your baby can hold their head up on their own and you make sure you’re extremely careful, there is no reason why you can’t take part in exercises together. The activities below are fun and keep you fit, without straining your body too much, and also ensuring your baby is ready
Here, Keith gives some examples of how to incorporate your kids into your workout…
- Push ups
Push ups are usually the first exercise that we are introduced to, so it makes perfect sense to do this workout with your little one. Having your child on your back when doing push ups, will help to strengthen your upper body.
HOW TO DO IT: Begin by placing your hands underneath your shoulders. Your legs should be straight and extended, and the balls of your feet are firmly on the ground. Your child should now place themselves on top of your back. Keep your core tight and your bum squeezed as you lower your body down until your chest touches the ground. Keep your body in a straight line as you push away from the floor and bring your body back up to the starting position.
Squats are the signature exercise when it comes to toning your lower body. Having your child on your back adds a whole new dimension to the workout.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Bend your knees and lower your hips as if you were sitting down. Your child should now climb onto your back, putting their arms around your neck and their hands on your chest. You should hold onto your child’s hands to keep them safe and sturdy. Now, you lower your hips until they form a 90-degree bend at the knee. Contract your abdominal muscles, pushing your weight down into your heels. Push straight back up, lifting your hips up and forward.
Lunges help to tone your legs and bum, but you need to make sure your form is correct. Incorporating your child into this workout will help to maximise its effects.
HOW TO DO IT: Most importantly, make sure your body is straight. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Now extend your arms to grab your child and have them placed on your knee, as you go back to your starting position.
- The plank
Planking helps to improve your core and strengthen your posture. Partnering up with your child adds another dynamic to this straight forward workout.
HOW TO DO IT: Get into the push up position on the floor, and have your child climb onto your back. Now bend your elbows 90-degrees and rest you and your child’s weight on your forearms. Make sure your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders, your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can. For best results, hold it for two minutes.
- Sit ups
Sit ups help you to strengthen and firm your stomach. Doing sit-ups with your child can help you to get those washboard abs even quicker.
HOW TO DO IT: Lay down with your knees bent and your feet placed flat on the ground. Your child will be kneeling down opposite you, and have their hands on your knees. Cross your arms over your chest so your hands touch the opposite shoulders. Tighten your abdominal muscles and draw your belly button in to your spine. Slowly sit up, by bringing your head up first and then your shoulders, so that you are facing your child. Hold the position for a second, and then slowly lay back down.